“To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.” – Claude Monet
As we slowly begin to approach something that maybe seems like “normal”, it’s easy to want things to go back to the way they were months ago and just pick up where we left off. That’s perfectly understandable. Constant chaos and uncertainty can leave us looking for something comfortable, and familiar can be pretty comfortable.
Don’t let yourself fall for that. We all have an opportunity to create change over the next 6-12 months that we may never have again in our entire careers. We’ve learned more about our businesses and ourselves in one spring than we might have learned in ten years. Not only that, but the world we live in isn’t the same as it was before, and may not be for a long time (if ever).
Look at your business. Too often we start with where we are right now and try to see where we could make some minor change. Try something different. Picture in your head what your business would look like if today you were starting it from scratch. Who would your customers be? What exactly would you be providing them? How would you produce that thing? How would you market it? What kind of people with what kinds of skills would you need?
Here’s another challenge: Do the same thing for you in your role as a leader. Sometimes we fall into patterns of behavior that we know aren’t ideal, but we feel trapped by previous behaviors. For example, we all have relationships in our businesses (and personal lives) that aren’t ideal, or aren’t healthy. We know we need to work on them, but when we have the opportunity we fall back into the behaviors that we’re unhappy about in the first place. How would you lead if today was your first day?
Don’t just look for ways to tweak around the edges. Marginal change isn’t a bad thing, and we should always be on the lookout for ways to improve, even if they’re small. But right now you have an opportunity for major change, to significantly alter how you and your business function. Don’t waste that opportunity – you may not get another one like it.